£165m loan needed for Worcestershire incinerator

Malvern Gazette: Incinerator for Hartlebury: an artist's impression Incinerator for Hartlebury: an artist's impression

A LOAN of £165 million will be needed to get Worcestershire’s controversial incinerator up and running, it has emerged.

The county council has published a long-awaited report into how much money taxpayers will be forking out for the rubbish-burning plant at Hartlebury.

The 49-page dossier, which is expected to be backed by the Conservative cabinet next week, reveals:

- £165m of Government loans will be needed to pay for it, with £125m set to be paid by off by taxpayers in Worcestershire and £40m in Herefordshire

- Not accepting it would put the county at “significant risk” as the county’s landfill sites could be dangerously close to being full by 2024

- The council’s leadership wants to start construction on it by next spring, with the facility taking nearly three years to become operational, by early 2017

- The site is being run by West Mercia Waste, but when the contract expires it will be handed back to the councils to run from 2023

- There is hope the incinerator can last until at least 2042, and by then the total cost will be a staggering £1.65 billion - but the council say “doing nothing” is likely to cost £2.1bn by then

The incinerator for Worcestershire has been in the pipeline since 1998, and already has both planning permission and Government approval.

It has been vociferously opposed by green campaigners, who say it could pose a health risk, be too expensive and is out-of-date.

But the council insist it is still the “best value for money” option, especially as landfill taxes will rise from £72 per tonne now to £80 in April 2014 and £100 before the decade is up.

Last year 362,73 tonnes of rubbish in the two counties was collected and neatly 200,000 tonnes buried in the ground, costing over £9.8m in taxes.

The report says if the county’s landfill sites are full it will have to buy space from other counties, meaning an even heavier bill.

If the cabinet back the option, it will need to go to full council in February next year for a vote before any work can start.

It will create 255 construction jobs, and 45 permanent roles once in operation, and the council claim it will power energy for upwards of 20,000 homes by burning 200,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, the cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “This is the best value for money option, it ticks all the potential boxes for us.”

But Rob Wilden, from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Action Group, said: “We’ve got 30-odd incinerators in the country and they supply less than one per cent of energy (to the national grid).

“It’s a farce, this is just a fire in a box. We’ve been saying all along it’d cost over one billion.”

As your Worcester News revealed last month, the National Audit Office is still probing the costs of the facility on a value for money basis, focusing on Defra's role in the project.

Comments (5)

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3:15pm Thu 5 Dec 13

brooksider says...

Worcestershire County Council is sleepwalking into disaster with this plan.
Only last month the government pulled funding of £169m for a similar waste burner in Norfolk.
Burning is inefficient and the emissions figures they quote are more guesswork than fact.
The increased number of lorries supplying the incinerator will cause further problems.
There are cheaper methods of getting rid of the County's waste without having to import it from other counties as will happen.
Worcestershire County Council is sleepwalking into disaster with this plan. Only last month the government pulled funding of £169m for a similar waste burner in Norfolk. Burning is inefficient and the emissions figures they quote are more guesswork than fact. The increased number of lorries supplying the incinerator will cause further problems. There are cheaper methods of getting rid of the County's waste without having to import it from other counties as will happen. brooksider

4:25pm Thu 5 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

It's a fuel source that's also poisonous waste, slowly leaching into the ground and dangerously emitting methane that has to be tapped for safety reasons, into the atmosphere... Land is valuable and not unlimited...

I admit the overall costs seem too high, the private contract is too long and I'd should think there are better, more modern solutions available now or very soon...

WE SHOULD HAVE BUILT MORE INCINERATORS DECADES AGO... I'm into over ways of breaking down many waste types whilst producing heat and clean, BURNABLE BIO-MASS residue...
It's a fuel source that's also poisonous waste, slowly leaching into the ground and dangerously emitting methane that has to be tapped for safety reasons, into the atmosphere... Land is valuable and not unlimited... I admit the overall costs seem too high, the private contract is too long and I'd should think there are better, more modern solutions available now or very soon... WE SHOULD HAVE BUILT MORE INCINERATORS DECADES AGO... I'm into over ways of breaking down many waste types whilst producing heat and clean, BURNABLE BIO-MASS residue... PrivateSi

4:53pm Thu 5 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

" There are over 4,000 landfill sites in the UK. Each year approximately 111 million tonnes of controlled waste (household, commercial and industrial waste) are disposed of in landfill sites in the UK. Using landfills also contributes to global warming because as landfill waste decomposes, methane is released in considerable quantities." -- Ask.com

There should be 4000 incinerators so if there are 65 providing 1% total UK lecky that 4000/65=61% if ALL LANDFILLS BURNT... Divide that by 2 as landfill size and daily rubbish vary - a conservative estimate...

WE SHOULD BE THE LEADING CLEAN WASTE INCINERATION COUNTRY - not shipping rubbish to MEGA-DUMPS in China & Africa or, burying it in the UK...
" There are over 4,000 landfill sites in the UK. Each year approximately 111 million tonnes of controlled waste (household, commercial and industrial waste) are disposed of in landfill sites in the UK. Using landfills also contributes to global warming because as landfill waste decomposes, methane is released in considerable quantities." -- Ask.com There should be 4000 incinerators so if there are 65 providing 1% total UK lecky that 4000/65=61% if ALL LANDFILLS BURNT... Divide that by 2 as landfill size and daily rubbish vary - a conservative estimate... WE SHOULD BE THE LEADING CLEAN WASTE INCINERATION COUNTRY - not shipping rubbish to MEGA-DUMPS in China & Africa or, burying it in the UK... PrivateSi

11:29pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Mrfade says...

Oh Private Si it is not landfill or incineration please be better informed.
Stop swallowing the propaganda.

Firstly look at the costs.

Just like the council you are missing the point in a very expensive way, luckily you don’t have control of our budget, sadley they do.
This is not as has been reported by the council for 4 years (and disputed by the informed) going to cost £120 million.
It is going to cost £166 million to build and life cycle costs are going to be £1.6 billion.That figure is in the council documents.

If there isn’t enough waste in 2023, we will still have to pay until 2040 something.
Why is Europe importing waste coz they don’t have enough of their own. they can burn it for half the price.

The council have been offered a cheaper method of creating energy from the organic waste which is 68% of waste.
But they will not consider it, why taxpayers??.

We could currently be saving £1 million per month if we were paid for our recycling.

Most landfill gas is now captured and is actually one of the best source of renewable energy.

But we don’t want to landfill or burn, there are cheaper methods. Start with waste reduction.

There is an overcapacity of incinerator space, what you want us to create waste just to burn it
Oh Private Si it is not landfill or incineration please be better informed. Stop swallowing the propaganda. Firstly look at the costs. Just like the council you are missing the point in a very expensive way, luckily you don’t have control of our budget, sadley they do. This is not as has been reported by the council for 4 years (and disputed by the informed) going to cost £120 million. It is going to cost £166 million to build and life cycle costs are going to be £1.6 billion.That figure is in the council documents. If there isn’t enough waste in 2023, we will still have to pay until 2040 something. Why is Europe importing waste coz they don’t have enough of their own. they can burn it for half the price. The council have been offered a cheaper method of creating energy from the organic waste which is 68% of waste. But they will not consider it, why taxpayers??. We could currently be saving £1 million per month if we were paid for our recycling. Most landfill gas is now captured and is actually one of the best source of renewable energy. But we don’t want to landfill or burn, there are cheaper methods. Start with waste reduction. There is an overcapacity of incinerator space, what you want us to create waste just to burn it Mrfade

2:03am Fri 6 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

Based upon the previous comments perhaps there is a case for exporting the waste to Europe on a commercial basis. But I also think we need to look past the contiuous views of those who want green polocies at any monetry cost.
We are mad to close coal fired Power stations when we sit on hundreds of years worth of coal, and then import wood chips from America.
We are happy to have Electricity from France which is produced by Nuclear power Stations, yet condem our own Nuclear programmes. And I understand that now when a fuel crisis may appear the chouce of the contractors for a nuclear power plant have a questionable track record in their previous constructions.
But whatever system we choose it will be better than dumping thousands of tons of Londons waste daily into the sea.
Based upon the previous comments perhaps there is a case for exporting the waste to Europe on a commercial basis. But I also think we need to look past the contiuous views of those who want green polocies at any monetry cost. We are mad to close coal fired Power stations when we sit on hundreds of years worth of coal, and then import wood chips from America. We are happy to have Electricity from France which is produced by Nuclear power Stations, yet condem our own Nuclear programmes. And I understand that now when a fuel crisis may appear the chouce of the contractors for a nuclear power plant have a questionable track record in their previous constructions. But whatever system we choose it will be better than dumping thousands of tons of Londons waste daily into the sea. Jabbadad

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